If the Shoe Fits, Wear It

For the last 18 months Marathon Girl and I have been ordering our running shoes online. Since we both prefer running shoes that happen to be hard to find in regular sporting good stores, it’s been much easier to click the mouse a few times and have the shoes delivered to hour house as opposed to spending an afternoon shopping. We found a good, reliable store in Maryland, Holabird Sports, that not only sold the shoes we wanted for less than what we could pay for here, but were always delivered them promptly to our house. Then Runner’s World had to go and mess everything up.

In October they listed Marathon Girl’s favorite running shoe as a Best Buy. Since then it seems like all the runners in the world have jumped on the I-must-buy-this-shoe bandwagon and suddenly shoes in Marathon Girl’s size have been notoriously hard to find. Yesterday Marathon Girl mentioned her current shoes were feeling a little worn so I went online to buy some for her. Instead of the usual three minutes it took me to place the order, I spent 30 minutes just trying to find a pair. Finally I was able to find a pair at Zappos.com. Even though they were more expensive than Holabird, overnight shipping was included in the price so Marathon Girl was able to break in her new shoes the next day.

The thing with any shoe, running or otherwise, is that is has to feel good to your foot. Just because a magazine or Web site recommends shoe doesn’t mean it’s going to feel good when you use it. For example, I’ve never been able to wear Doc Martins because they never felt good to my foot. Their sole was always felt too hard for my tender feet.

I’ve even had to find new running shoes on occasion. Soon after Marathon Girl and I were married, I bought a pair of Nikes that I had been using for several years. But this new version of the shoe didn’t feel right. It started rubbing my foot the wrong way. So after only eight miles of use, I gave the shoe to one of my brothers to use. (It worked great for him.) Meanwhile I had to find another type of shoe that felt good when I ran. (Thankfully Marathon Girl knows enough about running shoes that she told me to try Adidas who, in her opinion, make the best athletic shoes in the world. I now agree with her assessment.)

So to all runners who are jumping on the Runner’s World recommendation bandwagon, please find a shoe that you, not the editors of some magazine, are comfortable with. Recommendations are nice but that doesn’t mean it will help you run faster or feel good on your foot. Find a shoe that works for you and stay with it, please.